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Baked Fresh in the Capital Region

Bake For You at 540 Delaware Avenue bakes cookies, scones and other sweet confections
Bake For You at 540 Delaware Avenue bakes cookies, scones and other sweet confections
Photograph by Ellie Markovitch

As Albany’s restaurant scene continues to expand its horizons with fresh-local, sustainable and cultural offerings, here is a look at some of the finest upcoming bakeries in the Capital region.

For the Sweet Tooth
If you are looking for freshly baked cookies and treats, try Bake for You in the former All Good Bakery location at 540 Delaware Avenue. The bakery uses organic sugar, flour, free range eggs, and Vermont butter in the creation of baked classics like craisin and white chocolate chip cookies, Earl Grey brownies, and seasonal fruit scones. Bake For You has an on-line store where you can custom order trays of baked goods for delivery.

For extravagant cakes, pastries and freshly made gelato look no further than Crisan Bakery on Lark Street. The glass bakery cases at Crisan showcase beautiful cakes, like the genois and buttercream layered Chocolate Striped Cake, six varieties of freshly baked croissants, pound cake, Irish soda bread and French macaroons. Crisan also works with customers to design and bake custom cakes for weddings and special occasions.

Whether you’re looking for a traditional New York style or an exciting new flavor, Cheesecake Machismo always has more than a dozen varieties of cheesecake to choose from. The Hamilton Street café offers a core selection of signature flavors and a rotation of daily specials. In all, Cheesecake Machismo sells 370 different varieties of cheesecake throughout the year. If you’re tired of boring cheesecake flavors, perhaps try the “Blueberry Waffle” the next time you visit Cheesecake Machismo.

Artisan bread
Visit the Placid Baker at 250 Broadway (formerly Tosca Market) for scratch made artisan bread loaves, baguettes, pastries, and French macaroons. The bakery got its start selling hundreds of baguettes and loaves at the Troy Farmers Market. Today it features a full service bakery café with table seating and an innovative menu of soups, sandwiches and delicious locally roasted coffee. All of the Placid Baker’s breads are made from locally milled flours and the café menu features local and seasonal ingredients.

Baked fresh daily, old school traditional Italian bread can be found at the Bella Napoli Bakery and Café and Prinzo’s Bakery. Bella Napoli bakes Italian loaves, biscotti, cookies and signature specialties like Sfogliatelle, raspberry and cappuccino cannoli, and rum soaked Baba Italian sponge cake filled with vanilla custard. The multi-generational Prinzo’s keeps their formula simple, offering Italian loaves and hard rolls with and without sesame seeds. For 54 years the bakers at Prinzo’s have stayed true to their roots by consistently baking the same Italian loaf recipe, day after day.

Gone but not forgotten
Two unfortunate developments that have left a mark of sadness on the culinary landscape of the Capital region include the death of Anthony Prinzo, head baker and co-owner of Prinzo’s bakery, and the closing of All Good Bakers six months ago amidst rumors that founding partners Nick and Britin Foster had parted ways. All Good’s artisan scratch made breads and pastries, made with locally-sourced organic flours and ingredients, and their all-local brunch menu will be missed by Albany residents. Nick’s “Truffle Shuffle”, a grilled cheese sandwich with R and G Cheeseworks’ truffle cheddar, will always be remembered as a great value and one of the most delicious sandwiches to be found in the Capital region.

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